Naylor: Drilling issue top priority

By Erin L. Nissley (Staff Writer)
Published: October 21, 2010

Dan Naylor said he has thought a lot about Marcellus Shale over the past six months, a subject he believes will have the greatest impact on Northeast Pennsylvania in his lifetime.

The Benton Twp. Republican, who works as a commercial engineer and has served on the Lackawanna Trail School Board for 17 years, has a gas lease on the 100-acre dairy farm where he grew up. And since making the decision in February to take his second run at a seat occupied by state Rep. Jim Wansacz, Mr. Naylor said he has begun worrying more and more about how to protect communities that host drilling.

In a Wednesday meeting with the Times-Tribune editorial board, Mr. Naylor said his top priority if elected to represent the 114th Legislative District will be balancing the impact Marcellus Shale drilling will have on job creation and the economy with the impact it will have on the environment and infrastructure.

“Protecting the environment must come first,” Mr. Naylor said.

And while he is for implementing a state severance tax on natural gas drilling, he does not support the proposal on the floor in Harrisburg because about 81 percent of the money generated would go into the general fund. He believes most of the money collected should stay with the communities affected by drilling.

Mr. Naylor is running against Democrat Sid Mich-aels Kavulich, a former reporter for WBRE-TV and WYOU-TV who has spent the last four years working as a communications specialist for the Senate Democratic Caucus. The pair are vying for the seat held by Rep. Jim Wansacz, who lost a bid for the 22nd Senatorial District seat in the primary.

Representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $78,314.66 a year.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, Mr. Naylor said he would like to look at decreasing the size of the Pennsylvania Legislature to save money, realign the state budget to make transportation and infrastructure needs a bigger priority and increase accountability of elected officials in Harrisburg.

He has promised not to take per diems – taxpayer-funded reimbursements for expenses that do not require receipts – and will post receipts for expenses on his website.

“Right now, no one trusts Harrisburg, and no one trusts elected officials,” he said. “I want to be held accountable.”

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Copyright:  The Scranton Times